From its location in downtown Toowoomba, Milton & King exports its niche designer wallpapers across the globe.
Around 70 per cent of the company’s wallpapers are currently shipped offshore, mainly to the United States but also the United Kingdom, Asia and Canada. Rewind a decade, and the start of the Milton & King story is very different. Then Brisbane based brothers Richard and Bryce Capp joined their complementary accounting and graphic design skills, purchasing a wide format printer to produce art reproductions on canvas. Demand morphed the focus away to wallpaper with some rather challenging but character building start-up experiences. Initial insufficient cashflow to purchase a “real” wallpaper printing machine meant camping out overnight to use the demonstration machine in the manufacturer’s sales office to fulfil customer orders.
But those early days of trial, error and sleeplessness are now in the past. With the right gear and some new printing technology, Milton & King can respond quickly to emerging design and colour trends to create and release a new product in a few days to the domestic market and worldwide within a week.
Once wallpaper orders are received online via their website, they are printed on demand using Green Guard Certified Inks. Up to four rolls can be printed simultaneously. Each roll is hand packed into a cardboard box to protect it and present it to the customer. Wallpaper installation is made easy through rolls having a butt join finish. They are then shipped to arrive just about anywhere on earth within three days.
Almost every element is managed by the small team in Toowoomba including the design, production, sample distribution, trade program and marketing. The exception is some design work, including collaborations with Australian designers as well as those as far afield as Russia, Europe, Canada, Argentina and the US. This keeps the range fresh, appealing and vast. There are hundreds of options from traditional to funky.
As an online business, the company can be based anywhere. Though originally from Moree, the Capp boys were educated in Toowoomba and returned in early 2018 to where their parents are now based. It is their parents’ middle names that combined comprise the Milton & King brand name.
The emergence of the digital economy over the past 10 years has been instrumental to their success. Visual channels Pinterest and Instagram have fuelled growth via digital influencers, mainly based in the US. These style authorities share their interior designs to create digital word of mouth.
To complement the wallpaper collection, a range of 70 fabric designs has been released. These are available in seven different weights for use as light curtains through to heavy upholstery. Removable three metre wall panels have also been recently developed specifically for the rental market allowing room individualisation without the permanency of wallpaper or paint.
Looking forward, it is all about expansion for this boutique business, with a UK based representative about to join the one based in Austin, Texas to spread the word about Milton & King globally.
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